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Chapter 671-3 LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

Rule 671-3-.01 Application. Amended

(1) Any occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant who plans to practice as a licensed occupational therapist or licensed occupational therapy assistant in the State of Georgia shall apply for licensure to the Board, on forms provided by the Board.
(2) In order to meet the Georgia requirements for licensure, an applicant must submit an affidavit stating that the applicant is a U.S. citizen or an affidavit stating that the applicant is lawfully present in the U.S. under federal immigration law and O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1(f)(1).
(3) Lawful presence in the U.S. must be documented by:
(a) submitting an identification document listed as a secure and verifiable document on the list maintained by the Office of the Georgia Attorney General under O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1; and,
(b) an affidavit of citizenship that complies with the provisions of federal immigration law and O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1(f)(1)(B).
(4) Both the secure and verifiable document and affidavit of citizenship must be submitted to the Board to complete the licensure application.
(5) Applicants for occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant licensure in Georgia must meet all requirements for licensure as defined within the statute and Board Rules prior to issuance of a license.

Rule 671-3-.02 References. Amended

Three references will be required on forms provided by the Board from individuals who have knowledge of the applicant's professional training or experience within the last five years. At least one professional reference must be from certified or licensed occupational therapy practitioner. The second professional reference may be from another certified or licensed occupational therapy practitioner or any other licensed healthcare professional. The third and final reference must be a personal reference.

Rule 671-3-.03 Examination

All applicants for licensure as occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are required to pass a written examination, approved by the Board, for license to practice the profession in Georgia, except as otherwise provided in Section 43-28-9 of the Law.

Rule 671-3-.04 Passing Score

Passing score of the examination will be determined by the Board Prior to administration of the examination.

Rule 671-3-.05 Re-examination

An examinee who fails the examination approved by the Board may retake the examination at a subsequent examination date.

Rule 671-3-.06 Limited Permit

(1) Upon determination by the Board that all requirements for licensure have been met except for the examination, a ninety (90) day limited permit shall be issued and shall allow the applicant to practice occupational therapy under the supervision of an occupational therapist who holds a current license in this State. This limited permit shall not be issued or renewed if the applicant has ever failed any exam(s) administered or approved by the Georgia Board of Occupational Therapy.
(2) Applicants who have successfully completed a certification examination approved by the Board may be issued a ninety (90) day limited permit. This permit shall allow the applicant to practice occupational therapy, for a period not to exceed 90 days, under the supervision of an occupational therapist who holds a current license in this state.
(3) The Board may issue an applicant a ninety (90) day limited permit in order to complete the required 320 hours of clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.

Rule 671-3-.07 Board Action on Applications

(1) Applications for examination shall be acted upon by the Board at its next regularly scheduled general meeting or, at the discretion of the Board, may be acted on by phone following the receipt of the required fees and all credentials. Applicants qualifying for the examination will be notified.
(2) Applications for license shall be reviewed at the next regularly scheduled general meeting of the Board after all requirements for licensure have been met and the examination scores have been received by the Board.

Rule 671-3-.08 Renewal of License/Penalties/Continuing Education Requirements. Amended

(1) A license issued by the Board shall expire on March 31st of even numbered years. The license may be renewed upon submission of the renewal application and payment of the required fee, provided all requirements have been met. Refer to fee schedule.
(2) A license that is not renewed on or before March 31st of the renewal year shall be deemed lapsed. An application for reinstatement shall be required as provided for in Rule 671-3-.09 in order to seek reinstatement of a lapsed license to practice in this State. Practicing with an expired license is prohibited by law and practice during this period may result in disciplinary action for unlicensed practice.
(3) Before or on March 31, 2014 and for renewal cycles after that date, the continuing education requirements contained in this rule will be required for the renewal or reinstatement of a license. Except as otherwise provided, each licensee is required is required to complete during each two (2) year renewal period a minimum of twenty-four (24) continuing education hours prior to the expiration date of the license. Failure to complete continuing education prior to expiration date can result in disciplinary action. Acceptable professional continuing education activities shall include activities relevant to occupational therapy practice that can be deemed to update or enhance knowledge and skills required for competent performance beyond entry level occupational therapy. A cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course may not be submitted to satisfy any of the continuing education requirements or employer sponsored compliance coursework. A continuing education hour is defined as actual time spent in instruction or organized learning experiences excluding meals, breaks, welcome/introductions, and business meetings.
(a) At least twelve (12) hours of the required twenty-four (24) continuing education hours must be on a topic related to direct patient care. This includes occupational therapy assessment, treatment planning, occupational therapy implementation and diagnostic related information. This must include attendance at live presentations such as workshops, seminars, conferences, or formal academic coursework, or real-time, interactive webinars. To qualify as a real-time, interactive webinar, the licensee must have the ability to ask questions, receive an answer, and interact with other attendees at the time the session is taking place. It may not be a pre-recorded session.
(b) Each licensee must complete a minimum of two (2) hours of the required twenty-four (24) continuing education hours in the ethics of occupational therapy practice. These hours may be obtained online.
(c) A maximum of ten (10) of the required twenty-four (24) can be in "General" continuing education hours may be obtained by Level II fieldwork supervision, published professional writing and instructional presentations, pre-recorded electronic or web based courses, formal self-study courses, satellite broadcasts, computer learning activities, webinars, or viewing videotapes in a professional setting. These hours may also be related to administration, supervision, documentation, quality assurance and research.
(4) An individual who is applying for licensure in Georgia for the first time (never having held a Georgia OT or OTA license) and who is licensed during the second year of the biennium renewal period is not required to meet continuing education requirements for that initial renewal period only.
(5) Prior approval of continuing education courses is not required. Each licensee randomly selected for a CE audit must submit to the Board supporting documentation as specified in this rule.
(6) Beginning the licensure renewal biennium of April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2020, persons licensed to practice as an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant, or persons who file an application for reinstatement of licensure, must submit documentation of completed continuing education courses and experiences for renewal or issuance of a license. Licensees and applicants for reinstatement may register earned CE credits for courses and experiences with an online recording and reporting system approved by the Board. Licensees and applicants may register with a Board approved online system prior to April 1, 2018 to document CE credits for license renewal and reinstatement.
(a) The Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy has approved the online recording and reporting system of CE Broker, Inc. for the purpose of this rule.
(b) Licensees and applicants shall incur no additional costs from CE Broker, Inc. for using this service.
(c) Every licensee or applicant subject to the rules of the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy shall be deemed to have given such person's consent to the Board and it's representatives to access their continuing competence record retained within the online database for the purposes of auditing and verifying completion of the Board's continuing competency requirements.
(d) If a licensee or applicant has not registered earned CE credits with the Board approved online recording and reporting system, the licensee or applicant must include all CE certificates of completion with the license renewal application or application for reinstatement.
(7) Procedures for verifying to the Board that the continuing education requirements for licensure renewal have been met:
(a) Respond appropriately to questions on renewal of license application;
(b) Retain original continuing education documentation in personal files to submit to the Board if requested for a continuing education audit;
(c) Documentation as specified in this rule must be maintained by the licensee for no less than four (4) years from the beginning date of the licensure period.
(8) Documentation of continuing education which the Board deems as acceptable proof of completion includes the following:
(a) For continuing education courses that include attendance and participation at a live presentation such as a workshop, seminar, conference or in-service educational program:
1. A certificate of completion or similar documentation signed by program official, and
2. A program description including sponsor, course title, date(s), program objectives/learning outcomes, content description, and agenda or schedule. A shortened description may be accepted for programs specifically exempted by the Board such as AOTA and GOTA Conferences;
(b) For "General" continuing education as referenced in this rule, if obtained at a conference, workshop or live presentation, required documentation is as noted above. All other must include:
1. Explanation of the relationship of the activity to occupational therapy and your professional growth.
2. Date(s) and clock hours of the activity;
3. Other information as may be requested.
(c) For Level II Fieldwork Supervision involving serving as the primary clinical fieldwork educator for Level II occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant fieldwork students:
1. A description of the fieldwork including name and type of facility, name of the fieldwork educator and times spent in direct supervision of the student; and,
2. Verification provided by the school to the fieldwork educator with the name of the student, school and dates of fieldwork or the signature page of the completed student evaluation form with evaluation scores and comments blocked out;
(d) For published professional writing, applied research, and instructional presentations, as referenced in this rule, including first time or significantly revised presentations or an academic class session, workshop, seminar, in-service or professional meeting program session:
1. Description of the presentation or research including location, title, date, hours of presentation, general content description, and type of audience; and,
2. Verification of the presentation, research or formal thank you note signed by the sponsor or program official.
(e) Documentation of pre-recorded electronic or web based course, formal self-study courses, satellite broadcasts, computer learning activities or viewing of videotapes in a professional setting must include:
1. Verified instructional time by the course sponsor, a certificate of completion or similar documentation signed by the program official; and,
2. A program description including sponsor, course title, date(s), program objectives/learning outcomes, and content description.
(f) Continuing education should be documented on the appropriate board form, available on the Board website, upon request by the Board.

Rule 671-3-.09 Reinstatement of a License

(1) Reinstatement of an expired license is within the discretion of the Board.
(2) A license may be reinstated by submission of the following:
(a) Application for Reinstatement with appropriate fee, including references as required under Rule 671-3-.02; and
(b) Documentation of the completion of twenty-four (24) continuing education hours in accordance with Board rule 671-3-.08 Renewal of License/Penalties/Continuing Education Requirements obtained within the two (2) year period prior to the date of the application.
(c) Verification of current license in another state, if applicable; and
(d) Verification of Employment verifying last date of practice in Occupational Therapy, on the Board form, completed by the employer.
(3) An applicant for reinstatement of a license who has not practiced within five (5) years must also submit the following:
(a) Form A (Supervised Clinical Experience) indicating who will provide 320 hours of supervised clinical experience with a description of the training for Board approval. Upon approval by the Board a limited permit will be issued.
(b) Upon completion of the supervised clinical experience, an applicant must submit Form B (Certification of Completion of Supervised Clinical Experience) verifying the 320 hours of clinical experience under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, pursuant to Rule 671-3-.06, for Board approval.

Rule 671-3-.10 Foreign Applicant. Amended

(1) An applicant for licensure through examination who has graduated from an occupational therapy course or school taught or situated in a foreign country may be admitted to the examination by demonstrating to the satisfaction of the Board that his/her course of training was as high as the standards maintained in Georgia. In ascertaining whether such an applicant meets such standards, the Board shall consider whether the school or course of training has been approved by the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board and whether the applicant's credentials have been evaluated and accepted by the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board.
(2) The Board requires that foreign trained applicants must successfully complete the foreign trained occupational therapy practitioner's process as is required to take the board approved examination. The Board approved examination is administered by the NBCOT.

Rule 671-3-.11 Fees

Refer to fee schedule for appropriate fees payable to the Board. Fees may be reviewed and changed at the discretion of the Board. Any request for refund must be submitted in writing. An indebtedness to the Board caused by a returned check will be dealt with in accordance with Code Section 16-9-20 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

Rule 671-3-.12 Address/Name changes

(1) A licensee shall notify the Board in writing immediately of any address change. If a duplicate pocket license is requested, the appropriate fee must accompany the request.
(2) A licensee shall immediately notify the Board in writing of any name change of the licensee. The notification to the Board of the name change shall be accompanied by a copy of the court order, marriage certificate, or other legal document verifying the change in name. A change in name requires a duplicate pocket license. Therefore, the appropriate fee for a duplicate pocket license must accompany the notification.

Rule 671-3-.13 Licensure and PAM certification of veterans and military spouses

(1) As used in this Rule:
(a) "Military" means the United States armed forces, including the National Guard.
(b) "Military spouse" means the spouse of a service member or transitioning service member.
(c) "OT" or "occupational therapist" means a person licensed to practice occupational therapy as defined in O.C.G.A. Chapter 28 of Title 43.
(d) "OTA" or "occupational therapy assistant" means a person licensed to assist a licensed occupational therapist in the practice of occupational therapy, as defined in O.C.G.A Chapter 28 of Title 43, under the supervision of or with the consultation of an occupational therapist whose license is in good standing.
(e) "Physical agent modalities" or "PAMs" means the occupational therapy techniques that involve and utilize physical agent modalities as stated in the provisions of O.C.G.A. §§ 43-28-3 and 43-28-8.1.
(f) "Service member" means an active or reserve member of the United States armed forces, including the National Guard.
(g) "Transitioning service member" means a member of the military or active duty status or on separation leave who is within 24 months of retirement or 12 months of separation.
(2) Licensure by reciprocity of service members, transitioning service members, and military spouses. A service member, transitioning service member, or military spouse may qualify for a license by reciprocity where the applicant:
(a) holds a license in good standing from another state for which the training, experience, and testing substantially meet or exceed the requirements under Georgia law to obtain a license as a OT or OTA;
(b) submits to the Board a verification of licensure from the appropriate licensing agency of another state showing that the applicant's active licensure is in good standing in that state;
(c) submits documentation satisfactory to the Board which verifies the applicant's status as a service member, transitioning service member, or military spouse.
(d) submits a completed application for licensure by reciprocity on a form approved by the Board, pays the required fee, and requests a license by reciprocity.
(3) Certification for utilization of occupational therapy techniques involving physical agent modalities ("PAMs") of service members, transitioning service members, and military spouses. A service member, transitioning service member, or military spouse may qualify to obtain PAM certification from the Board if he or she:
(a) is licensed in Georgia as a OT or OTA;
(b) has obtained certification and/or training in the use of PAMs while a service member which certification and/or training substantially meets or exceeds the requirements to obtain such certification in Georgia under the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 43-28-8.1 and Board rules.
(c) submits documentation satisfactory to the Board which verifies the applicant's status as a service member, transitioning service member, or military spouse.
(d) submits a completed application for PAM certification on a form approved by the Board and pays the required fee.
(4) Limited permits for service members, transitioning service members, and military spouses.
(a) A service member, transitioning service member, or military spouse may qualify for a temporary permit issued by the Board, as authorized by the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 43-28-12, if the applicant has taken the licensing examination and the applicant has:
1. completed the education and experience requirements for licensure as stated in the Board's statute and rules or has obtained training or experience in the military while a service member which substantially meets or exceeds the requirements to obtain a license in Georgia;
2. submitted a completed application for licensure on a form approved by the Board and has paid the required fee;
3. submitted documentation satisfactory to the Board which verifies the applicant's status as a service member, transitioning service member, or military spouse.
(b) The limited permit issued by the Board shall allow the applicant to practice occupational therapy under the supervision of an occupational therapist who holds a current Georgia license, subject to the conditions of Rule 671-3-.06: